Technology is a fast-growing, high-paying, creative field. Here are 10 ways that you, as a family member, can encourage the girls in your life to study, and have a career in, computer science and related technology fields.
Engage students not already drawn to computing by creating academic and social environments where these students feel like they belong. Students respond positively to solving real-life problems that draw on their existing knowledge and interests and that involve collaboration in hands-on projects.
Computing offers high quality jobs and is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States. This resource compares computing to other occupations on quality of life issues such as pay, educational requirements, and work hours, to assist young women and their advisors in deciding whether computing is right for them.
Stereotype threat harms both performance and motivation by reducing our feelings of competence, belonging, and trust in our colleagues. However, careful thought, education, and regular assessment of diversity practices can help minimize incidents of stereotype threat.
Encouragement increases self-efficacy, which is the belief in one’s ability to successfully perform a task. Because we are more likely to engage in tasks that we believe we can perform successfully, encouragement may be especially useful for attracting women to male-stereotyped fields such as computing.
This article demonstrates the importance of paying attention to youth sexualities in efforts to increase girls’ participation in computing. It illustrates significant ways sexuality may be thwarting our efforts to increase girls’ participation in technology and how we might improve these efforts. In addition, it highlights how we might use girls’ interest in sexuality as a potentially powerful resource for fostering their interest in computing.
Latinas & Tecnología de la Información is a Spanish-language website for inspiring young Hispanic women, or Latinas, to pursue technology. The website, containing both English-language and Spanish-language resources, provides:
Use the e-Textiles-in-a-Box tutorial and get ready to teach young people about electronics and computing. Based on the Computational Textiles Curriculum and Sew Electric from MIT, e-Textiles-in-a-Box provides instructions for sewing soft circuits and programming an Arduino microprocessor on the way to creating a bookmark book light and an interactive felt monster that lights up and sings. NCWIT is pleased to offer e-Textiles-in-a-Box in cooperation with the MIT High-Low Tech Group, and with funding from the National Science Foundation.
Effective feedback gives students information they actually use to increase their learning and improve their performance. It should employ a "growth mindset" that focuses on developing intelligence through effort, practice, and "wise feedback" that spurs additional effort.
These tips will help you to engage students in your computing courses and retain them in the major. These ideas and examples are drawn from theory and research conducted by social scientists who study issues related to diversity and retention in computing. Methods range from encouraging words to inclusive classroom environments.
Are you interested in getting more girls involved in your computing competition? This Top 10 resource offers simple suggestions to make your competition appeal to a wider range of participants. Taking these steps will benefit all students and help make your event a success.
Article in CACM describing the obstacles girls face in entering computing and how the Aspirations program seeks to overcome those. Great overview of issues, the Aspirations program and ways individuals can get involved with the program.
Recruiting diverse students to computing requires that you spark their interest, build their confidence they can succeed, create a community where they feel like they belong, and help them see themselves as a "computing person". This Top 10 list offers practices that help you recruit high school girls to your computing courses.